MANILA, Philippines — Filipino jin Kurt Barbosa clinched a berth in the Tokyo Olympics after a dramatic win in the 2021 Asian Taekwondo Olympic Qualification Tournament Saturday in Amman, Jordan.
Barbosa battled back from a double-digit deficit late in the final round to stun hometown bet Zaid Al-Halawani, 50-49, in the men’s 58-kg semifinals.
Winning moment of Kurt Barbosa! Comeback is real! 🇵🇭🇵🇭💯 @kurtesyyyyyy just qualify to Tokyo Olympics after a 10-point comeback win with his opponent. 😱😱😮
What a rollercoaster ride of emotions! 😱🇵🇭
Follow us on our social media handles! IG/FB/Twitter👉🏼 mvpsfph pic.twitter.com/BqEUpU1o5B
— MVP Sports Foundation (@mvpsfph) May 22, 2021
“Kurt Barbosa gave the Filipino people a timely reminder that as long as there’s still time left on the clock, we need to keep fighting,” MVP Sports Foundation president Al Panlilio said in a statement. “Even if Kurt was down big in the third round, his belief in himself never wavered and now he is an Olympian.”
“Congratulations to Kurt, the newest member of our Tokyo Olympics delegation, and congratulations to our entire Philippine team who competed in Jordan. The success of one is the success of everyone because you all made each other better during your training.”
Barbosa, the 2019 Southeast Asian Games gold medalist, is the lone Filipino jin to make this year’s Summer Games after 2016 Rio Olympian Kirstie Alora, Pauline Lopez and Arven Alcantara failed in their bids.
The Philippines now has nine bets in the Games with Barbosa joining gymnast Caloy Yulo, pole vaulter EJ Obiena, weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, rower Cris Nievarez and boxers Eumir Marcial, Nesthy Petecio, Irish Magno and Carlo Paalam.
“As always, the MVP Sports Foundation will be here to support Kurt and the Philippine Taekwondo Association in their preparations for the Olympics,” Panlilio said.
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